Frequently Asked Questions

Does Smokeless Tobacco Really Affect Acid Reflux?

Acid Reflux

If you have ever read an article about acid reflux or if you have ever gone to your doctor because of acid reflux/GERD one of the first things they will often ask you is if you smoke.

The reason they usually ask this is because regular smoking can affect and induce acid reflux effects like heart burn for example. So, from that we know smoking is bad for acid reflux but why is it bad and is there any difference between smoking and chewing tobacco? Let me cover that below.

Smoking Tobacco

The first and most important thing to mention about tobacco is that it contains nicotine as I am sure you already knew.

The thing that perhaps you didn’t know is that nicotine is thought to help relax the valve above the stomach known as the lower esophageal sphincter or LES for short. The thing with the LES is that it needs to remain tight to stop any acid from refluxing up into the esophagus to prevent acid reflux symptoms like heartburn.

So, if the nicotine causes the LES to relax this then means more likelihood of acid reflux symptoms.

The second thing to mention here is that the smoke itself can cause the mouth, throat and the esophagus to become drier. This is often due to lesser salvia production because of the smokes effect. Because it’s drier it means less mucus and salvia in the esophagus when means less protection against the acid reflux. Therefore, you basically have a negative double whammy effect.

Chewing Tobacco

When comparing smoking with chewing tobacco there are a couple of notable differences. When chewing your mouth won’t be as dry as when smoking and also you don’t have the negative effects of the smoke affecting your esophagus and throat.

The other difference when considering acid reflux is that the nicotine is released constantly when chewing, which means more nicotine is released over a long period of time, which then could mean more likelihood of acid reflux because of the effects of the nicotine.

Overall when compared with smoking chewing tobacco is probably a slightly better option than smoking for both overall health and acid reflux though both clearly have a negative effect that ideally you want to stop or avoid.

Conclusion

In conclusion any kind of tobacco is not a good idea for sufferers of acid reflux. In fact, for certain people simply stopping the tobacco intake could stop any acid reflux symptoms. On a final note stopping tobacco won’t be the simple solution for everyone though it definitely will have a positive impact on your health in the long run!

NOTE: This piece written by Health Blogger and Reflux Expert David Gray – wipeoutreflux.com

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4 Comments

  1. I need to tell my reflux story, I never understood what I had until my 2nd month of my quit. One thing I remember is that when I would be jonesing for a chew I would get a sore tongue, a disgusting taste in my mouth and my throat would get real sore. Once I put a chew in it all went away, weird I thought and nobody understood me. Well in the 2nd month of my quit I ended up with a severe sore throat, the most wicked nasty taste on my mouth, sore tongue but near the throat area, severe tightness from jaw to breastbone, a constant discomfort or pain that would go from chest area through out my sinus area to my jaw hinge area, the back of my nose would feel like I thrown up thru my nose and extreme nausea. So for years without actually knowing it I suffered from LPR or silent reflux which attacks the throat, back of mouth and sinus area in my case. I suffered for 8 weeks like this and nobody knew what it was until I saw a specialist. This affliction that I had to deal with was the worst of all withdrawal symptoms because it was constant and it would get a little better to completely have it flare up and cause extreme pain all over again. This was the cause of the severe anxiety and depression I suffered from. I never could get relief from the pain so the day before my ent doc visit I suffered 2 really bad anxiety attacks which lasted 1 and half hours each time. I would have gladly accepted the fog or the splitting head aches as they were something I could work thru. Thankfully it did not take long for doc to figure out the issue once he scoped me. So 4 days later now I am feeling 1000% better, still have nagging soreness which will go away but its very very tolerable. Today I am 116 days nicotine free and I weaned myself for a month to prepare for my cold turkey quit. When I look back from today at the progress of my quit I have been feeling like shit for almost 4 months now wondering and waiting to feel better and what that even felt like. I thank God everyday for the blessings that he provides and it is by his grace that I get to quit forever. I could not have done this without him there guiding me, strengthening me, listening to me whine and cry of how bad I hurt and I did all to myself but most of all carrying me and the burden I created. I pray for all the vets as they have helped me tremendously but I pray even more for the newbies, please lean on your vets and heed there advice. Become a member and post daily, get in a text quit group has they make it personal and read read read and post all you need. We are here to help you get thru this. Once you admit your an addict then you will be on your way to quit. But its on you to quit, nobody else can quit for you, you should not quit for someone else as you can only quit for yourself. “Its cold turkey”, “one day at a time”, “I quit with you today” is how it goes. Are you ready? We are and we are here to help. God bless everybody and I pray that we all stay clean.

    1. Thank you for posting that. I’m glad you got that figured out. Isn’t it great to have God at your side?

      1. Your welcome, also check out wipeoutreflux.com. That site has additional info regarding the diet and also has a plan you can purchase. Yes, without God at my side I highly doubt I would have been here to quit. We had a guest speaker from rzim.org and his name is Nathan Rittenhouse and he told a story about how his uncles carried like a football to protect him and how we need to allow God to carry us also. I see God sometimes beside me leading me but there are times I cry out to him and say just carry me. We have had some long discussions the last 4 months of me going nicotine free and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Stay strong, stay safe and God bless and my fellow quitters. IQWYT

    2. I have also acid reflux problem and I am quit tobacco about 2month but I am not able too eat anything. My tongue and inner cheeks have turned red.Can you please tell me how many days everything will be alright.

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